Ten practices from around the world have been shortlisted in a competition that aims to transform Los Angeles' Pershing Square one of Southern California's top destinations. Located on a five-acre plot in the city's downtown, Pershing Square is Los Angeles' oldest park. Each semi-finalist has been challenged to develop proposals based off of experiences. A small selection of finalists will be selected in December to move on to the competition's final phase.
WIRED Magazine has created a list of Eight Cities That Will Show You What The Future Will Look Like in the latest edition of their design issue. In the relatively short span of time that humans have been planning cities, more and more decisions have been made that have shaped the path of new technologies and methods that will make cities better. Such projects—like new streetlights, bicycle infrastructure, and traffic-sensitive museums—highlight some of these advances in the urban lifestyle.
"The cities of tomorrow might still self-assemble haltingly, but done right, the process won’t be accidental. A city shouldn’t just happen anymore. Every block, every building, every brick represents innumerable decisions. Decide well, and cities are magic," writes Wired author Adam Rogers. Read on after the break to see how 8 different cities from around the world are implementing innovative projects.
In a culture dominated by smartphones and Instagram, with estimates that over one trillion photographs will be taken this year alone, it might seem impossible for photographs to make and shape issues in the ways they once did. Despite this, images still steer debates with shocking resiliency and, with luck, become iconic in their own right. As architecture is synonymous with placemaking and cultural memory, it is only logical that images of the built environment can have lasting effects on the issues of architecture and urbanism. It's never been easier for photographs to gain exposure than they can today, and with social media and civilian journalism, debates have never started more quickly.
The SAH 2016 Annual International Conference will take place in Pasadena/Los Angeles, April 6-10, with the theme New Local/Global Infrastructures. The conference will engage participants from around the world with the rich, evolving legacy of the region’s built environment. With the scheduled completion of the Metro Expo Light-Rail Line west to Santa Monica in early 2016, Pasadena will be connected to downtown LA and the rest of Los Angeles County. This infrastructure, building on historic right-of-ways, will provide new ways to see the broad range of the region’s architecture and urbanism.
The SENSEable City Laboratory at MIT has developed a new tool with Ericsson to better understand human behavior. "ManyCities" is a new website that "explores the spatio-temporal patterns of mobile phone activity in cities across the world," including London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Taking complex data and organizing it in a intuitive way, the application allows users to quickly visualize patterns of human movement within the urban context down to the neighborhood scale. You can imagine how useful a tool like this can be for urban planners or even daily commuters, especially once real time analytics come into play. Take a look at ManyCities yourself, here.
The Broad has officially opened its doors in downtown Los Angeles. Taking four years to complete, the highly anticipated, 120,000-square-foot building houses a prominent collection of postwar and international contemporary art owned by billionaire philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. During the press preview, VernissageTV caught up with the building's architect, Elizabeth Diller of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, to gain a better understanding of The Broad's “veil over the vault" concept.
After teasing the general public by offering the press and 3,000 lucky local citizens with a preview day six months ago, the Broad Museum has finally opened its doors. Designed by Highline architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, the museum took four years and $140 million to build, adding its presence to LA’s architectural Broadway, Grand Avenue. With its visually striking facade given the tough task of responding to its enigmatic neighbor, Frank Gehry’s perennially polarizing Walt Disney Concert Hall, the building was sure to attract the attention of the critics, and they rose to the challenge in their droves. Read on to find out what five critics thought of the building dubbed “the veil over the vault.”
Pershing Square Renew, a public/private partnership formed by Los Angeles City Council member José Huizar, has launched an international design competition to re-imagine the five-acre urbanpark at the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
With their model for urban regeneration, LOHA hopes to address issues like the ongoing California drought, as well as the United Nation’s prediction that by 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. Thus, the plan utilizes the Los Angeles River as a resource for water use and management in order to provide a path for sustainable growth in Los Angeles, and an example for other cities.
A soaring contemporary space for the divine, The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels opened to the public in 2002. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, the Roman Catholic cathedral is a monument to the successes of postmodernism deep in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The cathedral features modernist decoration, from angular wooden pews to steel chandeliers complete with blown glass orbs, and can host up to 3,000 visitors in its sunlight spaces with ample outdoor space in the adjacent gardens and plaza.
Since the Los Angeles Timesbroke the news that the LA River Revitalization Corp has enlisted Gehry Partners to lead a new master plan effort for the Los Angeles River, there have been a slew of negative responses: the Friends of the Los Angeles River have refused to endorse the Gehry effort, reactions collected by the Architects Newspaper ranged from skeptical to angry, and Alissa Walker at Gizmodo did not mince words when her headline declared “Frank Gehry is the Wrong Architect to Revitalize the Los Angeles River.” These responses raise real and legitimate concerns - progress on the LA River has been years, if not decades, in the making. There is already a master plan, prepared by Mia Lehrer and Associates, and the US Army Corps of Engineers approved a plan to restore 11 miles of the river, known as Alternative 20, just this past July. There are worries that this new effort could threaten the current approvals and funding.
Frank Gehry is an easy target for criticism. His buildings can be polarizing, and his detractors are quick to seize on any defect. Details are trickling out slowly, but a recent presentation to reporters revealed that the plan would eventually identify locations for parks and real estate developments, as well as establish a unified design theme for future improvements such as pedestrian and bicycle paths. For his part, Gehry has emphasized the water reclamation aspects of the project - an especially timely subject in drought-stricken California. And in an interview with Frances Anderton on KCRW’s “Design and Architecture,” Gehry was quick to clarify, “It’s not a building, I’m not doing a building!”
MAD Architects has proposed a futuristic model for housing in Los Angeles, as part of the ongoing “Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles” exhibition at the A+D Museum. Dubbed the "Cloud Corridor," the concept is based on Ma Yansong’s “Shanshui City” philosophy for architecture to "manifest the spiritual essence between people and nature." The vision is the opposite of sprawl, proposing a high-density vertical village made up of nine interconnected residential towers.
Gehry Partners, alongside Townscape Partners, has unveiled plans to redefine the "gateway" to California's Sunset Strip. A cluster of five distinct, Gehry-esque structures, the mixed-use proposal is one of several design alternatives that have been proposed by Townscape for the site. If built, it would include two residential buildings, featuring a mix of rental and for-sale apartments, along with retail, entertainment programs, and public gathering spaces.